Jamaica to swear in first female PM

March 30, 2006 at 1:42 PM
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KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 30 (UPI) -- The Jamaican capital of Kingston was under heavy security Thursday as the country's first female prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, was to be sworn in.

Some 6,000 guests were invited to the ceremony on the lawn of the governor's King's House mansion, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.

Miller is succeeding P.J. Patterson, who has been prime minister for 14 years.

Among those confirmed to attend the ceremony are Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan and 14 members of the U. S. Congress, led by Rep. Charles Rangle, D-N.Y.

Wednesday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent the retiring Patterson a bon voyage message, and thanked him for his "wisdom, courtesy and kindness" over the years, the Jamaica Observer said.

U.S. President George Bush also telephoned Patterson to wish him well, the newspaper said.

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